Over the past week, I have been on a strange roller coaster ride. My emotions, sleep patterns, physical well-being, etc. have been in a state of constant change. At some moments I felt refreshed and anxious to get back to a 'normal' life and at other times I dipped into a deep pool of depression, looking ahead to the impending loss of my mother and the empty nest that looms in my not too distant future.
The weather seemed to mimic my moods or maybe it was the other way around. There were sunny days with light breezes and cool salt water washing over my feet mixed with dark, rainy days with fierce, angry winds and others still that were just gray...no wind, no rain...nothing.
I am getting a bit stronger, week by week. I can walk a bit further, sleep a bit longer without drugs and contribute a bit more to the lives of my family. There are so many things going through my head these days though, puncuated by the death of my friend's niece (see "Torn", my last blog). I keep telling myself that things will be different when I return to work. I won't let myself be tied to my desk, allowing my blood pressure to soar over stupid, trivial things that are beyond my control. I won't be so particular about housework and will try to walk by the less than tidy kitchen once in awhile and out into the evening to drink in the dusk as a means of restoration before another busy day dawns.
I will miss the constant connection with my kids and my computer community. I will likely lose touch with some on Facebook and will not be able to visit OS as often as I would like but at least I will be out there, living my life. I just hope I have the strength to do it justice. I have to learn to listen to my body and my mind when they are crying out for respite.
One thing I have noticed is that my libido has returned. I don't think it ever completely went away but losing the mind numbing drugs, getting out of the baggy sweatsuits and into more revealing, fun summer togs, visiting beaches littered with bare-chested bronzed gods, loosely tying my hair allowing tendrils to tumble into my eyes and along the nape of my neck as I cruise along the coast in my little black convertible are all bringing it to the forefront. Silly, but it seems to be helping with the healing process.
This week my daughter is preparing to leave for Ireland with my sister-in-law...a more than generous graduation present. My son is off golfing, swimming at abandoned rock quarries, going to bonfires, bringing his buddies around for the odd game of air hockey or some pizzas and getting in training mode for the summer of basketball that lies ahead of him. They are breathing life and excitement back into this house, no longer hovering over me, worried over my every movement.
I have to embrace life now. I have been given a second chance. The year I spent in limbo must not have been in vain. It began with my father's funeral, followed closely by my physical collapse, trips to hospital, doctors, physio therapists, venomous calls from evil insurance reps, arguments among my children and husband due to my responsibilities falling to them, the loss of my dear uncle, the sheer pain and suffering and roadblocks I faced with my spine, medical tests, inability to tend to my mother's needs and finally the surgery that took my pain away but left me limp and ragged. It's a lot to think back on. It has been quite a journey.
I still have pain but it's a different type of pain. I feel everything from stiffness, to aching, to a ripping feeling across my lower back and the more I walk, the more numb my foot becomes but it is all manageable. It lurks in the background and is no longer blocking out everything else in my life. I can handle it and it is so small in comparison to what I have been through, that I almost welcome it as a sign of normalcy. The slight pain I feel now is from physical activity so I feel as though I've earned it as opposed to feeling like I am being attacked by it for no good reason.
I am reading books again and completely enjoying it. I recline on a lounger in the gazebo with maple leaves gently brushing the canopy, listening to my unique summer playlist and losing myself in the pages of the novel I'm currently reading. Whenever I turn the page, I think back on all the summers of my past. I have always indulged in outdoor summer reading in my yard as a child, under a lazy willow, stretched out on a towel in the sun with my am radio by my side, on a sandy beach with the smell of ocean and coconut oil, on various decks in various cities, alongside playgrounds while my children ran around having fun, along the waterfront during lunch breaks, all giving me the same sort of feeling. When I don't have time to read long chapters in my book, I come here and dive into the posts of my fellow bloggers so thank you for supplying them. It's important for me to be able to step out of my own life and into those of people in far off places (I have always been drawn to stories that take place in the UK...always).
So, my journey continues. I doubt I will ever be completely pain-free but some pain in life is necessary. It reminds us that we are only human and have many flaws. It helps us appreciate the less painful times. It urges some of us to write and it links a lot of us together. It allows us to feel empathy for others and sometimes it can make us stronger. This doesn't apply however, to those in a constant state of blinding pain...they will not see any upside to the pain they feel. I know this from personal experience and only hope that others are as fortunate as I am and get to move past it, even for a brief time.
I think this will end my 'Journey' blog. I will use new titles reflecting the future or the past. Some will be read and some will not but it will still be important for me to write. I will use my keyboard to convey happiness, sadness, beauty, fear, triumph, loss and any other thing that moves me. I may one day write one tiny string of lovely words that resonates with one reader or maybe not. You may have to search among the rubble before finding even the smallest gem but I will try to learn and will try to make the search less and less difficult.
Here's to a life renewed. Cheers to all.